A few decades ago, when people talked about getting basic undergarments, you knew that you had to have black, white and nude. But the concept of as a number of people with brown skin tones were unable to find a color that matched. Just like beauty brands have begun to conquer what nude means across the color spectrum, this same movement has taken place in footwear as well as lingerie.
nude was relative
We remember a few years ago when we first heard about Nubian Skin - a line that began as lingerie that included shades that matched brown skin tones and was represented by models that also reflect the consumer who buys the line.
After fangirling from afar, we caught up with Nubian Skin's founder, Ade Hassan about the process behind launching this line, how she grew the assortment, being honored by His Royal Highness Prince William with the Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire and how she takes time for herself while growing her business.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Prior to creating Nubian Skin, can you tell us about your background?
ADE HASSAN: My background isn’t actually in fashion at all. I was working in finance, which had been my career and when I had taken a break from finance, I did consulting for a year. However, while I was consulting in 2011, I had the idea for Nubian Skin and that was the first spark. I didn’t actively start working on the company until May 2013. When I came up with the idea I knew I needed to change jobs and save money, so I went back into finance and it was in the midst of this, that I actively registered the company and really started on getting it from an idea to an actual business.
AM: What led you to create Nubian Skin?
AH: I came up with the idea in 2011, and I had told a friend about the idea. Later that year, she sent me a birthday card that said, 'it's time to start living the life you've always imagined,’ I immediately registered the business.
AM: What were the initial items in Nubian Skin, how has that changed to the current assortment, and what are new items that you can share with us that will be available this spring?
AH:We started out with our hosiery, essential and lace collections, and we have since added more sizes, a curve hosiery collection, our Africa-inspired collection, Moroccan Nights, a collection of nude shoes including heels and flats, we also did a collaboration with another designer, d.bleu.dazzled, and more recently, we launched our Naked Collection, a new range of intimates in nude tones! We have some exciting things in the pipeline, soon we will be launching our fuller-bust bras, and after that, we have a few exciting ideas up our sleeves, so watch this space!
AM: In addition to having an online presence, what boutiques is the brand available in?
AH: Our products are available at a range of boutiques, including Nubian Hueman in DC, BraTenders in Manhattan, Suzette Hosiery in Yonkers and Busted Bra Shop in Detroit. We also
have stockists in the UK, Nigeria, Portugal and the French Caribbean. Check out the stockists page on our website for the full list!
AM: What celebrities have worn the brand and who would you like to see wearing it?
AH: Beyoncé and her dancers wore it for the Formation Tour! We’ve also seen it on Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae and Taraji P Henson in Hidden Figures, Jourdan Dunn, Leomie Anderson & Jackie Aina to name a few. We’d absolutely love to see Rihanna in Nubian Skin!
AM: In addition to having a necessary range of lingerie, we love the models that represent the brand as they are diverse in hues as well as body types - how important was having this representation?
AH: It was really important because I wanted women to be able to look at the campaign and see somebody who looked like them, or their mother, or sister. Representation is important, it can be a really empowering thing.
AM: You received the MBE from Prince William last year. What is this, why is it awarded, what it was like to receive it?
AH: An MBE is ‘Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire’, and the list recognizes achievements and contributions of a wide range of extraordinary people across the UK. My award was for fashion, in recognition of my mission to redefine nude through Nubian Skin, and the impact it has consequently made on the industry. It was such an incredible and
AM: You closed out the year being honored in LA at the Ebony Power 100 as an entrepreneur
in 2017 - who were your favorite people that you met in the room and what did this acknowledgment mean to you?
AH: By far, the highlight had to be meeting Maxine Waters…she is just an incredible person and takes no nonsense. I was really surprised to get the letter that I was to be on the list. It’s an amazing thing to be honoured, because I have so much respect for the publication and the history behind it. Being named with such an amazing group of entrepreneurs was incredibly
inspiring to me.
AM: In addition to your brand's IG page, your personal page really shares what it's like as you continue to build your company from new additions to your line, the life of an entrepreneur - acknowledgments that you have received and more. How important is it for you to share these details and mentor those digitally?
AH: Thank you! I’d never thought of it as digitally mentoring before, as I'm not that great or consistent on my personal page, but it is nice to engage with people and know that there are those who are supporting what I do and care about it. I think it is important for people to see that hard work and grit can go a long way, and though there are definite highs, there's a lot of elbow grease that goes into living your dream.
AM: You're a busy woman who is always traveling - when you're back home in London where is your favorite place to shop, where do you enjoy eating and where do you grab a cocktail? Do you have another city that you frequently visit that you enjoy shopping, eating and grabbing a drink?
AH: I love being home in my flat!! Haha, London is so diverse, I can’t really pick a favourite because there are so many amazing places to choose from, BUT I am very partial to afternoon tea. Two cities I can’t get enough of are Lagos, it’s so vibrant and a lot of fun, and Paris… Paris is always a good idea.
AM: How do you take time for yourself in the midst of your busy career?
AH: It can be difficult to find a balance, but I’m getting better at it. This year, I’m trying to focus on really enjoying all parts of the journey, so if I'm travelling for work, I'm making sure to seek out some time for myself and do something enjoyable. I was speaking to a couple of fellow entrepreneur friends the other week about how taking time for yourself takes discipline. So, I make sure I’m spending quality time with loved ones and taking care of my health by exercising.
AM: What philanthropy or charity(ies) do you support?
AH: I volunteer, and I donate on a monthly basis to my SOAS, where I did my masters, to their education fund. The UK raised tuition fees pretty dramatically several years ago, and I wanted
to do a little bit to make sure that students who couldn’t afford it will still get the opportunity to attend such a great institution.
"You can't know where you are going, until you know where you have been." This quote always seems to take on more meeting when we find out the varied paths that people get to where they want to be. We sat down with Lights (Warner Bros Records) to find out how she got into the industry, her upcoming tour next year, her new Skin&Earth album, which also includes a series of comic books, her favorite travel destinations and how she defines balance as a songwriter, performer, wife and mother.
ATHLEISURE MAG: How did you get into the music industry – tell us a little bit about your journey.
LIGHTS: That’s a loaded question! I started out having no idea about how to get into the industry and I don’t think that anybody does. And there really isn’t one specific way to do it. I
think at the beginning, I had a pretty skewed view of how it was to be done and how it would pan out. I did music because I loved it and I started writing songs when I was 11 – I had my little
8-tracks and I started producing when I was 13. By the time I was 15, I had multiple albums of music and at that time, it was before MySpace, Peer Volume or YouTube and there was no place to put it. You actually did have to have a way in. So I enter contests like songwriting
contests, local singing contests and stuff – just to see what would happen.
Randomly, my way in came. My mom worked at Walmart. She was an employee, so you could be in the flyer. We took a picture which they selected and we had the opportunity to be in
the flyer. The photo I sent in had me with a guitar and they picked me. They came to my town and shot some pictures of me and a few other locals for the Walmart flyer. I got $30 and modeled their turtleneck – it was great. So the makeup artist said, “oh the picture that you sent in with you in the guitar – do you actually play?” I was like, “Yeah, I have a whole EP.” I was like 14 or 15 at the time. So he asked me to sing for them and I did a Mariah Carey song in the trailer and he asked me to bring the EP by his hotel, which I did and then he brought it to his friend who was in the industry that happened to be coming into the area later that summer for a
festival and he ended up becoming my manager. We worked on the music for a couple of years and then shopped it to the labels and then a couple of years later, I got a development deal with Sony and then I made some connections in the industry and 2 years after I was dropped from the development deal, I got signed to publishing which is songwriting for TV shows as well as working on my own music with sessions with other writers.
At this time MySpace came along and that’s when I was able to put my stuff up and everything changed. It wasn’t the label that launched my career but an online platform that allowed other
people to have access to me. Then Old Navy used a couple of my songs in their campaigns and that is when other people found out about me and then I got signed on from there at 19 with Warner – everything went from there!
AM: We never figured that Walmart would play into this story!
L: You never know where your break is going to come from! The most important thing is to do what you love and to take the opportunities that present themselves. You never know where it
will lead to! With that said, many people ask me what way they can get into the industry and I tell them that they have what they need right in front of them as the access is online to get your music out there!
AM: We’re beyond bummed that we missed your show here in NYC earlier this month, but what can we expect when we go to a Lights show and what kind of music is it that you are doing?
L: It’s really about putting my shows into a story arc and that’s even more imperative now with the comic that comes with the record as we will be implementing that into the next tour. It's an emotional journey and it starts out energetic as I want to make sure that everyone is comfortable and singing along. My favorite part is to see that in a show and then I like to break it down to more of an intimate tone and then end it on a high note. Set lists are always really well thought out. People should come ready to dance and ready to sing and of course there are cool lights – literally, which is really cool.
AM: What is your personal style in terms of dressing at your shows versus out and about with you and your family?
L: It’s interesting how I dress for a show isn’t too far from how I dress day to day, it’s just more amped up. It’s more extreme and over the years, I have come to know that how I dress really affects how I walk and how I am on stage. I need to feel empowered and I need to feel like a woman. It’s somewhere between Lara Croft from Tomb Raider with short shorts and big boots – I always wear big boots and big socks even in the summertime. I love a crop top that channels my whole Anime Manga face with the bright hair. I like a little spice of fantasy mixed in with a bit of a warrior.
AM: Obviously you are extremely talented, how did the comic book into this portion of your music as well?
L: I have always loved comics and have been reading them for years. I think that comics, like music is one of those forms of entertainment that all the fans want to become the creators.
Once you read comments you want to make it, you want to try it – to create the content. I have always wanted to do it and it has been a dream of mine for a long time. Part of that dream has
been wanting to see out in that world a music comic project, by a woman. It just didn’t exist and there were a few things here and there and even with dudes, it wasn’t that common. So I
wondered, when is a girl going to do this? One day I was like, “why can’t it be you – get to your computer girl!”
I shrugged off the fears of not knowing how to do it as I think that is one of the major factors that holds us back from doing what we want to do because we feel that we don’t know how
to do it. I just taught myself how to do it! I did the research, I got the books - went online and watched webinars and tutorials and I just had to start from somewhere. I have seen my dreams come true in putting this together over the last year. It’s just been amazing. I did a lot of work – I write it, draw it, render it, color it, package it and ship it! I send it to the publisher and it’s from my heart and mind and it’s so cool to see it all come together!
AM: That is so cool so do you go to Comic Con with this?
L: Yeah! I have always gone to Con as a fan and last year I was at Toronto Fan X which I have gone to for 10 years as a fan. This year, I was there as a guest with a professional pass and people were CosPlaying as my character! It was so awesome!
AM: This is so inspiring and once again, we’re bummed that we didn’t see you tour!
L: Well, when we came through the fall last year, it was a shorter set as we were supporting Paris but next Feb/March when we come through, it will be a full production experience and a
full set! It will be directly related to the comic.
AM: Obviously you travel a lot, what are some of your favorite places that you love going to?
L: Oh one of my favorite cities to go to is Amsterdam! Everywhere you look is an Instagram shot – it’s so scenic and there are flowers all over the place. It’s gorgeous and I have even more of an appreciation for it especially doing the comics – as an artist now. You have to do studies and backgrounds in art and lighting. I’ve noticed things in the environment that I would have never noticed before like the way a shadow falls – so you notice your surroundings more and Amsterdam is one of those cities that everywhere you look it’s picturesque and inspiring. Another area is Mexico – I love the beaches and it's one of my favorite places in the world.
I grew up traveling and last year, my husband and I went to Thailand and explored the jungles and then we went to Tokyo – that trip itself was a bit of a catalyst that made me really want to
do the comic and a month later I was drawing!
AM: We love Tokyo, being there really changed the way we looked at things for sure!
L: I know – when I got there I was like, “I want to do music and have it played here – how can I make this happen?” So, we have Giants in four different languages and Japanese is one of them!
AM: This holiday season, are you doing a lot of performances, will you be doing festivals for 2018?
L: Yeah it’s going to be a festival summer this year I think and our tour is 2.5 months in the spring with the festivals in the summer and then touring in the fall. The final issue of the comic comes out next month and then we will be packaging it into a graphic novel and then will tour on that in comic shops which will be some pretty cool stuff on that as well.
AM: Clearly your busy, how do you take time for yourself – are you a yogi – what do you do?
L: I do a bit of that. It’s all just balance. I’ve learned a lot over the years and still have a lot to learn about getting work done and taking time. I mean it’s not about saying I’m going to work here this week and then take time out here on this day. There was a time in my life, that I thought that was the way to do it. Instead it’s more like, today I am going to work 4-5 hours and then have dinner with my kid or spend some time tonight to do whatever. Everyday is in
front of you so you need to take the time daily you need to do the work but you need to take the time. I mean life moves and we spend so much of our time waiting for life to happen and
it’s right now and we need to enjoy it while getting stuff done.
AM: What would you like to share with Athleisure Mag’s readers that you may not have been able to share?
L: I’d say check out the album …… it’s my Opus and the greatest thing that I have done so far and I’m proud of it. Listen to the music on its own, read the comic on it’s own and then do so
together – it’s a totally augmented experience and check out the Instagram page @SkinAndEarthWorld – it’s a map of the world from within the comic and its interactive - click through the various accounts and explore the world and go to different locations and find hidden song clips. It’s just a fun way to experience the world without having to pay for anything right now.
Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Sephora Paris Launch
Fenty Beauty by Rihanna has had rolling launches that began in NYC during NYFW and continued with its launch in Paris at Sephora among media, influencers and enthusiasts of the brand. With a focus on beauty for all, the line is truly one that covers a number of shades of foundation and concealers from those that you would expect as well as hues that have previously felt that they have not been focused on. Rihanna will continue with her launches at global Sephora locations with its next stop in Spain. The cosmetic line is one that has a number of gems that will find its way onto your vanity.
| PHOTOGRAPHY | Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Fenty Beauty
We live in an age where we have the opportunity to get an inside look in the careers and people's lives via social media, reality TV or directly from the person themself! Growing up, we enjoyed reading Vogue as a means to be transported to high style, fabulous designers, locations and more. As we grew up, we realized that this signified the best of the best regardless of what edition we happened to be flipping through.
French Vogue represents one of the most iconic titles and has had a number of notables helm this cover. We had the opportunity to chat with Joan Juliet Buck, who shares her time at Vogue (1994 - 2001); growing up in a family whose connections to those in film; art and literature is astounding and how she navigated her world is a page turner. Readers see how she befriended Karl Lagerfeld; her love affair with Donald Sutherland; her connection to Anjelica Huston; and more interactions that are effortlessly shared in 'Price of Illusion.' As a writer for a number of prestigious titles (Vanity Fair, American Vogue, Travel + Leisure, The Los Angeles Times and Conde Nast Traveler), feature editor at British Vogue, Editor in Chief of French Vogue her memoir navigates her journey via frank honesty about her world, her participation in it and how she was able to step back and take the life she truly wanted is one that is refreshing!
ATHLEISURE MAG: What is the meaning behind the 'Price of Illusion?'
JOAN JULIET BUCK: It's sort of well, now you know because you read the book.
AM: Yes, so what made you decide to write the book and to make it so personal.
JJB: Well the only way to write is to do so completely honestly. I'm not interested in writing fiction. I think that the most important thing for me was to sit down and write. The original manuscript was a lot longer. I think I had 20 edits to get it down as I was numbering them. I kept thinking that I was finished and done, but I edited a lot. It took me about 2 years to write the first 1,050 pages and then it took me 4 years to sculpt the story out of it.
The thing that became more and more important was this guardian angel that I read about when I was 7 years old. The guardian angel says to the little girl, "Don't go playing with the pretty people of the gorgeous garden. The pretty children wearing the beautiful clothes in the beautiful garden - don't go." Of course what the guardian angel doesn't say is that if you go, you will pay the price of illusion.
Of course, I went into the pretty garden with all of the pretty children and the beautiful clothes and flowers. Just like in the dream in the book that I read at 7 years old, let's just say it wasn't for me.
AM: Do you feel that maybe because of your upbringing of growing up around Peter O'Toole, John Huston and Anjelica Huston that it became a natural inclination to go into this garden because you were born into that world?
JJB: Of course. I was and that is what I considered natural. But one way to reclaim it would have been to become an actress, but my father (Jules Buck, an American film producer) said don't become one. So I thought I would become a writer and of course, I went towards beautiful magazines. Then I chose the beautiful world. I first went to Conde Nast magazine for Glamour at the age of 19 and then Vogue when I was 23. I couldn't leave - it was a beautiful garden and I couldn't leave. I thought it was my reproduction of what I grew up in - you're exactly right - you got it completely!
AM: Obviously, we work in the magazine industry and we were struck by how you integrated the state of the magazine world at that time with the consolidations in titles, the merge to going online and how you dealt with creating great content with such lower budgets. What do you think of the state of the fashion magazine business which is still battling these issues now?
JJB: They're in a very difficult state. There are certain magazines that manage to be surprising and glamorous. W and Harper's Bazaar both manage. But so many of the other magazines have gone so mainstream. The way we managed in French Vogue, as you saw is that for example, the model Caroline Murphy was AMAZING. She would work for our shitty prices, we would have to borrow horrible places in the country where people were practically in sleeping bags and she wouldn't care! She was really a trooper. But these days, the people who still work with Vogue or used to work for me say, "they used to put me on a plane to do an interview and now it's all on the phone!"
AM: Would you ever see yourself going back to working as an Editor in Chief or starting your own publication?
JJB: No - I think you have to be young and full of energy. I realized a lot of stuff about myself in life and then again when I wrote the book. I'm one of those people who need a lot of sleep. I can't function on 6 hours. It's really grueling and a hard job.
AM: I had to laugh as we don't get a lot of sleep around here so your point is very valid!
JJB: It's true - but you're having fun though right?
AM: We love our readers, sharing the athleisure culture and being able to share the voices in our community. Everyday is different than the next which keeps it interesting. If you're not passionate and in in tune with what you're doing, it can really suck you dry!
JJB: That is so true and the difference for being a writer as I had always been and then being a boss - which I had never been, was so different. The days were fuller with events that had to do with other people and it didn't exhaust me in the same way that writing does as you're birthing something. It's almost a physical feeling. When going to events, I felt punch drunk from small talk.
AM: Were you concerned when you were writing this book that you had to go back and let people know that they were being included in this book as you include a number of people such as Anna Wintour, Karl Lagerfeld, Mario Testino.
JJB: No because I had done enough reportage on my own life by keeping a diary that I didn't feel that I needed to speak to anyone about what had happened because I knew very well. It was all in my diary. Are you asking if I needed to ask permission?
AM: Well yes, I know a number of the people that you're talking about in the book and I think that you're spot on. But there's always what you know that happened and what people like to revise in their heads and I just wondered if in that process that you were concerned that there would be a letter or email from someone who may have had an issue.
JJB: You're always concerned. I was concerned with certain friends who looked in the index and saw that they weren't in it. But that's ok and we had a conversation about it. Remember, I didn't belong to anything when I wrote this book. I didn't owe anyone anything and I didn't have any allegiance. I was gone. That's a fantastic freedom.
AM: I think that's what really draws you to this book because of the frankness and honesty. When you're in the industry, there are politics and things to consider so it would be tough to write something of this nature while navigating those associations.
JJB: You can't write honestly if you're protecting something. I was in a very privileged position. I decided to make my exile from Vogue a privilege instead of a drawback.
AM: What are some of the things that you liked while you were at French Vogue Paris and duties that you had to do as a part of your job that you may not have enjoyed?
JJB: Well, let me see - you know this very well, but to be the person whose decision is final. I had that when I was there and when I went back to American Vogue and my decision wasn't final - I could provide my opinion, but I had to go ahead with it. Just being the decision maker was great. Watching people spark to an idea and watching how this thing would be like firecrackers - that was very energizing. It would also make me wistful because they would go off to do the photoshoot or reporting and I would be sitting behind the desk and then going to a cocktail party. I don't drink, I hate going to cocktail parties as I don't like standing. I don't mind walking, but I don't like standing around and I really don't like small talk. It was all kind of a nightmare. I also liked having the access! I loved going to museum shows before they even opened. It was nice to buy my clothes at wholesale prices, but it was weird as you would order 6 months in advance at the showroom and it felt more like business than shopping.
I didn't like having people do things that they didn't want to do. If they didn't want to do it, I could usually see why and it made me say things to get them to do it - which I didn't want to do - I'm lousy at manipulating people. The schedule - the fashion shows - putting on your costume and the marathon of shows! I need my sleep and I need my food! It felt like torture.
AM: After going through all of this, how essential is balance to you?
JJB: It's everything!
AM: How do you envision success?
JJB: Well that's interesting. Because for me success is being able to write what I want to write and not having to do things that I don't want to do. That's the number one. It would be nice if success came with an enormous amount of money to reward me for my efforts.
There is a line from Gertrude Stein who says, "I write for myself and for strangers." The success of the book - right now what I'm feeling for the first time in my life is because I wrote honestly and didn't write - so many strangers are reacting to this book with a full heart. In the fashion world, you don't see a full heart. I'm seeing that. The communication and atomization of everything from letters, Instagram etc and there are all these hashtags from strangers who are reading it.
They have opened their heart to the story that I told which is extraordinary. In a world of magazines, you don't think that that is possible. In magazines people react because they want something from you.
AM: If this became a movie who would play you and your parents?
AM: Yes we're obsessed with the show!
JJB: Of course you have! I think Tatiana Maslany is it. She is an extraordinary actress and like me, she can look like a whole bunch of different people. It's not consistent and one of the interesting things that I found doing this book because I was excavating - I played all these different parts and role. So I think Tatiana's talent to look like so many different people and she's not really pretty but she can be - that is so me! For the young me, it's Hailee Seinfeld.
AM: Good choice - she's fantastic!
JJB: Didn't you love her in The Age of 17? Hailee looks so much like Tatiana so it's perfect! For my parents, I keep thinking of Michael Stuhlbarg for my father. For Uncle Don, definitely Mark Ruffalo.
That's who he looks like and the feeling - slightly rumpled, sloppy but with a really big heart! For mom, Natalie Portman!
AM: When you were talking about your mother from her style, jewelry, and movement - she seemed to have such an ethereal air. That's a perfect casting choice!
JJB: Mom was so classy and the absolute embodiment of grace, beauty, charm, and style. Not quite me!
AM: We were so blown away about the book as there are so many layers that intersect!
JJB: The thing is, this book is not about fashion, Hollywood - they're in there. But this book is about people who are obsessed with such a beauty and things being wonderful. Everybody has that.
AM: Yes and historically, there are events that you mention that are mirrored today in terms of terrorism/bombings - that these things unfortunately still happen but that life also has to continue on with our personal chaos along with the global one. The weaving of these elements is what makes it so intriguing.
JJB: I love it and am thrilled that you felt so connected to it!
We couldn't believe it until it was in a number of our feeds but Air Jordans being turned into mini candles and soaps were everywhere! From red, white, black, metallics and more! Currently available at Paris' Colette, these little odes to sneaker culture can be picked up for around $21! What The Shape, the creators of this wellness meets athletic inspiration has an Instagram page which has even more images available.
Now we're just waiting for our next candle lit yoga with these babies in the room!
And just like that NYFW FW17 is over but of course, this week we'll share a number of our favorite shows from this past season. Although LACOSTE will be showing in Paris starting with their SS18 collections they shared their FW17 line here in NYC. A number of men's and women's looks in earthy tones with a sci-fi flair and plaid a la 90's Kurt Cobain's Nirvana.
PHOTOS COURTESY Umberto Fratini / indigital.tv
In an industry that is ever changing, fashion (in general) has its standards steeped in norms when it comes to age, race, height, and trends. These ideas create a sense of notions that
surround likely candidates to whom will be successful; however, like anything some rules simply don't apply.
When the fashion community is abuzz around personalities, it's worth noting that Iris Apfel, interior designer, business woman and yes fashion designer - has been doing things the way she has wanted to for well over 90 years! In a discussion with us on what rules she had to get to where she is, she exclaimed, "I don't have any rules, because I would only be breaking them, so it's a waste of time." Whether you see her on HSN with her coveted line - Rara Avis, gracing museums at her own retrospectives, taking over Paris during Fashion Week via Iris Takes Paris, designing a wearable tech line with Wisewear, giving talks to those who are inspired by her words or posing for a number of brands as a collaborator and/or face of the brand - she is doing things her way.
Although she creates a frenzy when she is out and about, she is very candid about herself. "I don't like pretty. I never felt pretty. I don't feel it now - I'm not a pretty person, but I don't feel badly. It worked out well, because I found that all the girls I know who got by on their looks, as time went on and they faded, they were nothing. And they were very disappointed. When you're somebody like myself, in order to get around and be attractive, you have to develop something, you have to learn something, you have to do something. So you become a bit more interesting."
This ethos personifies the way that Iris found herself in the most interesting circles. Her eclectic interests led her to work at Women's Wear Daily, as an assistant to interior designer Elinor Johnson, and even as an assistant to illustrator, Robert Graham.
She married Carl Apfel in 1948, two years later, they launched textile house Old World Weavers, which allowed them to travel the world and she continued to infuse her sense of style by buying non-Western pieces and artisanal clothing. "My husband used to say that I looked at a piece of fabric and would listen to the threads. It tells me a story. I have to get a physical reaction when I buy something - a bolt of lightning. It’s fun to get
knocked out that way!"
With such inspiration at her disposal, one can only wonder how many times she was struck when she also had the opportunity to work at the White House on an array of restoration products for nine presidents (Harry S. Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton).
With such a strong background and sense of self, it's the amount of projects that she has embraced that continues to open her up to audiences that may not have been privvy to the
indelible mark that she has left in fashion and pop culture.
"I see myself as the world's oldest living teenager... I try to get as much kick out of things as possible," which can be seen with a number of her collaborations that she has done in partnerships with brands such as Macy's INC line which brings her style to this on trend
brand. Pieces included her play of fabrication, mixing textures and of course - you can't talk about Iris and style without including her accessories, "I get more compliments on accessories
than anything else. I think they're kind of like herbs and spices. They give zest and zing to an outfit."
Her love of style (as this is something that one should aim for as it embodies your personality) can be seen in the way she shared an anecdote with us about her mother. "My mother worshipped at the alter of accessories and I got the bug. She always said, if you have a good, little, simple black dress and you have different accessories, you can have 27 different outfits."
At 95, there are clearly no signs of stopping for this lady of style. In addition to seeing her pop up in campaigns for Alexis Bittar and Kate Spade, - she is honored in a multitude of ways. Last year, her documentary, Iris included her late husband Carl and brought her to the big screen. This year she was honored with the Women Together Special Award of the Year at the 12th Annual Women Together Gala at the United Nations, alongside Rosario Dawson, The Punta Cana Foundation and the Loewe Foundation.
Iris' style will also have a permanent home in The Museum of Lifestyle and Fashion History in Boynton Beach, Florida as designs are currently underway for a dedicated gallery that will house her clothing, accessories, and furnishings.
Who knows what's next for this 95 year old cover girl?